Jewish Israel critic labeled anti-Semite

Court rules allowing German-Jewish journalist to describe statements of fellow Jew as anti-Semitic.

January 6, 2009 21:25
Jewish Israel critic labeled anti-Semite

broder 224.88. (photo credit: Courtesy of Alex Gorski [file])

A Cologne appeals court ruled on Tuesday that German-Jewish journalist Henryk Broder is allowed to describe the statements of fellow Jew Evelyn Hecht-Galinski as anti-Semitic. "Even German courts are beginning to understand that it is not enough to be Jewish in order not to be anti-Semitic," Broder told The Jerusalem Post by phone. He is in Israel, covering the Gaza war for Der Spiegel's Web site. Hecht-Galinski equates Israeli policies with Nazi Germany's, and has said that a "Jewish-Israel lobby with its active network is extended over the world, and thanks to America its power has become so great..." The appeals court overturned a regional court ruling barring Broder from labeling Hecht-Galinski's statements as anti-Semitic without citing reasons for his assertions. Broder's attorney Nathan Gelbart told the Post the ruling "is a victory for freedom of speech" in Germany and "a victory over those hiding their anti-Semitism in pretended criticism of Israel's policies." The appeals court said Broder's criticism of Hecht-Galinski contributed to a public discussion on Israel's policies and was protected by free speech guarantees. Hecht-Galinski said Broder statements defamed her character.

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